The complete compilation
Deadly Sinner #7 : The lazy stepsister
as well as procrastinating college students
In Romania, Ion Creanga collected and wrote many traditional folk tales with wise, moral endings. One of them was Fata babei si fata mosneagului, the story of a one hardworking and one lazy set of stepsisters. I have heard many versions of this story where the hardworking stepsister is rewarded for her hard work while the lazy stepsister is either punished for her laziness or enlightened to see the error of her ways.
The background is a traditional Romanian woven rug that can sometimes be hung on walls.
*Image inspired from a Pinterest model
Deadly Sinner #6 : Arachne
Arachne was a talented weaver who produced some of the finest cloth in all of Ancient Greece. But soon pride and arrogance crept into her head (Greek Hubris) and she boasted that she was a better weaver than Athena herself! Athena then set up a tapestry making competition with Arachne. Arachne used this opportunity to mock the gods in her tapestry pictures. In a violent rage, Athena transformed Arachne into a the first spider.
And for thousands of years, Arachnids have been weaving webs in the corners of our houses, our basements and our attics.
Deadly Sinner #5 : Jezebel (by proxy of her husband King Ahab)
In 1 Kings 21, Ahab asks Naboth to give him his vineyard to add to the palace grounds but Naboth refuses him. When Jezebel finds out, she falsely accuses Naboth of blasphemy so he can be sentenced to death. She then seizes his land to add to land that she and her husband already clearly have enough of hence the keys that she grabs in this image of her.
2 Kings 9:30-37 New King James Version
So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses; and he trampled her underfoot. 34 And when he had gone in, he ate and drank. Then he said, “Go now, see to this accursed woman, and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter.” 35 So they went to bury her, but they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. 36 Therefore they came back and told him. And he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel;[a] 37 and the corpse of Jezebel shall be as refuse on the surface of the field, in the plot at Jezreel, so that they shall not say, “Here lies Jezebel.”’”
Deadly Sinner #4 : Iago
In Shakespeare’s play Othello, Iago hated the Moor. Out of hatred, envy and spite he conspired against his master Othello leading to events that ended in tragedy. Inspired also by the green light in The Great Gatsby, I made Iago look out of Venetian windows with jealousy.
Iago’s dialogue in the play is also the first time the term “green eyed monster” appeared as an expression in English. And green has been associated with jealousy ever since.
*Image based on a still from the 2004 film The Merchant of Venice
Deadly Sinner #3: All the French courtesans of the 19th century
My favorite era is the French Belle Epoque of the late 19th Century. It was also a golden age of high class courtesans, scandalous dancers and sensual actresses like La Belle Otero, Liane de Pougy, Sarah Bernhardt, Cléo de Mérode, La Païva, La Castiglione and so on.
This is also in memory of my year abroad in Paris.
I always wanted to do a series of Deadly Sins but I was not sure how to paint them. Should I do an allegory? A pictorial drama? Then I found the solution. I love history and literature so I decided to look for all historical, mythological and literary characters whose lives fit with the Seven Deadly Christian Sins.
Deadly Sinner #1 : The Wrath of Alexander
Alexander the Great had a mighty temper. This scene could depict any of his many furious outbursts on his extraordinary journey from Greece to India. He slaughtered every man, woman and child in Tyre when the stubborn island city refused to submit to him. He punished a Gazan governor by dragging him behind his chariot while the man was still alive. In a drunken fury he killed his own general, Cleitus the Black, when he dared challenge him. And so on. And so forth.